The Deck for the 21st Century


Estate Playing Cards brings ancient oblations, 15th century Italy and traditional four suit card decks into the 21st Century through synthesis and modernization. It augments the popular four suits - Church, Corporation, Community, Military with the fifth estate - the Media; replaces the royal & joker cards with family & imperial cards respectively thereby increasing the number of cards in the pack.


Ancient and Modern


While five suit decks have been around for almost a century, Estate Playing Cards is a more fundamental modification to traditional playing cards; changes that not only reflect more accurately the modern world but retain some of the earliest features of ancient cards from Europe and Asia.


The Fifth Estate


Towards the end of the nineteenth century a set of forty numeral cards of four suits was produced in Germany. The scenes painted on the cards depicted the history of the four “great” continents – Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Australia has been added in the 21st century to Estate Playing Cards.


The Deck


The standard pack has been increased from 52 to 60 Cards consisting of five suits – Waves, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. These suits are referred to as Estates. Each estate contains 12 cards – Ace, Woman, Man, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. There are also two imperial cards, the Pope and the President, replacing the Joker, making a total of 62 cards.


The new estate is called Waves, representing signals put out by various media. The symbol used is a graphic of a transmission wave.


Card Values


Face values of estate cards are largely determined by the game being played. The family cards generally hold a value of ten, although in certain games Man may be eleven and Woman twelve. Aces are high or low usually with values of 11 or 1 respectively. In games such as 500 and Poker, estates from highest to lowest are Waves, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. In Bridge the estate order is Spades, Hearts, Waves, Diamonds, Clubs.


A 60 card pack reduces the incidence of short decks because games with one, two, three, four, five or six players, where every card is dealt, produces an even number.